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Salih Saltunç dominates first Event Final

April 24, 2018

The first thrilling live race of the 2018 competition saw the top 10 Xbox One players race it out around the Shanghai International Circuit on Monday night in a bid to qualify for selection by the real world F1 teams later in the seasons. The race saw an impressive pole-to-flag victory for Salih Saltunç (TheFlyingFinn08), who dominated from start to finish – but there was fierce fighting in and amongst the pack for the other two podium places.

If you missed the race and want to see all of the action for yourself, then please watch the highlights here:

After Saltunç made a quick, clean getaway, the rest of the pack jostled two-abreast going into the first few corners. It was a solid first lap from the drivers, with an incident-free start to the race. The second lap saw his brother, Sonuç Saltunç (STSF1 Alonso14), nail an incredibly daring pass on the run down to Turn 7 on Maximilian Benecke (Slaizze), who was later lost from the race, while Isaac Price (G2Isaac) and  Jack Kill (CRL Hamilton) battled it out for the final Pro Draft spot in third and fourth.

The positions switched again on lap 6, when Kill went for the undercut on the pit-stops and produced a stunning outlap to snatch third place. Price did not give up, ultimately pushing too hard on lap 8 and ending up braking too late into a corner, forcing contact with James Doherty (TRL Limitless) behind him. The mistake saw Joe Upson (The Amazement) sneak into fourth place, with Doherty and Price dropping to P5 and P6.

However, Doherty fought valiantly to get back into the upper positions of the race after the spin, passing Upson on the start/finish straight on lap 11 and going around the outside just before Turn 1 to take P4.

Even though towards the end of the race the top three positions were all but secured, the wheel-to-wheel mid-pack racing continued to thrill. Lap 13 saw Cedric Thomé (NLR Evo) pull a stunning pass on Price’s McLaren, taking P6 after pursuing the tighter line around Turn 14. Unluckily for Price, he took the wider line and ended up being boxed in by the Renault of Upson exiting the corner.

Salih ended up with an astonishing 9 second lead over his brother, Sonuç, in second place, who finished a further 5 seconds ahead of Kill. All three leave the first event with their Pro Draft places secured.

There are still two more Event Finals taking place this week around the Shanghai International Circuit with PC players racing on Tuesday at 8pm (BST) and PS4 qualifiers fighting it out on Wednesday at 8pm. All live races will be streamed here.

There is still time for you to qualify for a place in the Pro Draft where you could be selected to become an official Esports driver for one of the real world Formula 1 teams. Later this week Event 2 will go live with a challenge set in Baku and this will be followed by more events at Catalunya and Monaco. All you have to do is register here and play one of remaining events in F1 2017.

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